Thi Bao Anh Nguyen graduated with a master’s degree from the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Ho Chi Minh City. She collaborates with the Library of Social Sciences at Ho Chi Minh City and is a Lecturer in East Asian literary theory at Thu Dau Mot University.
Manh Mai The is a Lecturer in the Faculty of Pedagogy at Thu Dau Mot University, where he teaches and conducts research related to foreign literature. He is also a PhD student at the Faculty of Literature, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City. E-mail: manhmt@tdmu.edu.vn


The Sense of Romantic Self in William Blake’s Poetry: A Poetry of Meditation

Abstract: Romanticism was a Western artistic and philosophical movement that started in the 1770s and continued into the first half of the 19th century. The Romantic movement flourished in English and German literature around 1798, with the first edition of the Lyrical Ballads by Wordsworth and Coleridge, and ended in 1832, a time marked by the deaths of Walter Scott and Goethe. Romanticism focuses on the imagination as an infinite creative resource and is deeply rooted in nature. It reveres nature as a holy place where people can return and heal. Through symbols and myths, as well as archetypes, it uses narrative to express the true self of humans. In addition, Romanticism also pays attention to emotion, lyric expression, and the self, presenting the “artist-as-hero” in the process of reflecting on life. From these perspectives, this paper studies the Romantic self in Blake’s poetry. Along with Robert Burns, Blake is representative of Romanticism in England, in the same way that Goethe and Schiller represent Romanticism in Germany. His works are filled with discourses about nature, with references to the seasons (“To Spring,” “To Summer,” “To Autumn,” “To Winter”), the divine (“To the Muses,” “The Divine Image,“ “Holy Thursday“), animals (“The Lamb,“ “The Tiger,“ “The Birds“), and plants (“The Lily,“ “The Blossom,“ “Ah! Sunflower“). This paper also points out connections with Zen poetry to show that Blake’s poems are not so different from the poetry of meditation.
Keywords: Romanticism, Romantic self, William Blake, archetypes, nature